The Swiss Path: Overview

To celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation, the “Swiss Path,” aka “Weg der Schweiz” was built around the southernmost end of Lake Luzern. The trail is broken into 7 sections, each easily accessible by public transportation, so you can walk as little or much as you like. So far, we’ve hiked sections A-D, from Rütli to Flüelen, each section with its positives and negatives. Below is an overview of the whole Swiss path, with maps and links to details for each section.

Location: Central Switzerland
Address: Brunnen, Canton Uri
Car: 50 mins from Zurich
Train: 1hr10 from Zurich
Trail: various from 2.8 – 35 km
Condition: mixed: road, gravel, alpine dirt
Skill: moderate
Open: year round, weather dependent
More info: www.weg-der-schweiz.ch

The full Swiss Path is 35 km, from Brunnen to Seelisberg. The printed “Weg der Schweiz” brochure, available in English at the ferry ticketing booth, includes an accurate map (shown below, click to view bigger) and short descriptions of the trail. Unfortunately, this particular map is not available online, but they provide a couple other maps here.

The path is broken into seven sections, listed below. You can start anywhere along the path and hike in either direction. Ferries and buses connect all the sections, so decide which section you want to hike and plan your day accordingly. A helpful brochure, with a map and descriptions of each section of the trail in English, is available at local tourist desks, like train stations and ferry ticket booths. I won’t repeat all the info available in the brochure, but in short:

A: Rütli – Seeliberg. 60 mins, 2,6km
B: Seelisberg – Bauen. 130 mins, 6 km
C: Bauen – Isleten. 40 mins, 2.8km, strollers ok
D. Isleten – Seedorf – Flüelen. 120 mins, 7.2km, strollers ok
E. Flüelen – Tellskappelle. 100 mins, 4.7 km,
F. Tellskappelle – Sisikon. 45 mins, 3.5km
G. Sisikon – Morschach – Brunnen. 170 mins, 8 km

We really enjoyed sections A and B, about 8.6 km from Rütli to Bauen (photos below), which includes a steep ascent (750+m elevation gain) to the alpine village of Seelisberg, then a leisurely walk back down to Bauen on the lake. It has fantastic views and varied terrain, through forests, alpine meadows, under mountain peaks, past farms and through little towns. >>> Read more about this hike here.

We also did the two stroller-friendly sections C and D, about 10 km from Bauen to Flüelen (photos below). This stretch is flat and easy, but also not as interesting. The trail hugs the shoreline of Lake Luzern, with lovely views of the lake and surrounding mountains. It also has lots of sculptures and art pieces along the way, celebrating the culture and history of Switzerland. The trail ends in a nice nature preserve, with adjacent swimming areas, playgrounds and restaurants. However, much of the trail is right next to a busy road and a couple km inside a tunnel with windows, which is not my ideal hike. But it’s still a good time and I would recommend it if you need a low-key, easy walk with a view. >>> Read more about this hike here.

Sections E and F appear to also be next to an even busier road, but you will get to visit the William Tell’s Chapel, an important part of Swiss history. Section G goes back up the mountain, away from the main road and looks more promising. I’ll report back on these sections if and when I hike them.

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